Usability tip - Keep opposite actions away from each other


I wanted to tackle some spam in my inbox. But instead of clicking on 'Block Mail from Sender...' in the menu, I clicked on 'Add Sender to Address Book...'. "Oh No!", was my reaction when the address book dialog popped up, "That's quite the opposite of how I want to deal with the sender. Damn my touchpad dexterity!" But then I was remined of Donald Norman's advice to users when products misbehave, "Don't curse yourself. The product designer could have easily accomodated for such human error."

In this case, it is quite unimaginative to group unrelated items under a generic 'Tools' menu. More so, if opposite actions are placed next to each other. Couldn't there have easily been a separate contacts menu or a separate spam menu? Anyway, I guess you might be saying to yourself "That is the least of the problems I have with this email client."

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